The Aswang


The informant is my Uncle. He was born in the Philippines and came to the United States when he was twelve. He went to Hollywood High School and after he attended chiropractic school. He enjoys watching basketball and is also on the verge of retiring from work. 


Growing up in the Philippines I was really scared of a creature known as the Aswang. According to the myth, it is said that the Aswang can change shape into a human and other animals. In their natural state, they are scary looking ghoul human type creatures that are only found in rural areas. They will not be found in dense cities. Because they were so feared people would walk in pairs at night. And if you happen to walk alone you have to whistle… CONTINUOUSLY! And if you stopped whistling, it meant you were being attacked by an Aswang and needed help. I often feared that it was hiding behind bushes waiting to jump out and get me, so I hated being out all by myself as a kid.(laughs) They supposedly would kidnap you and liked to eat small children. Mothers would tell horrific stories of the Aswang to keep their kids off the streets at night too. But beyond scaring children there were even adults who were heavy believers of the Aswang. I grew out of it when I left the Philippines to come to LA. My whole mindset was that it was too dense here to worry about them. (laughs)


This folk belief is a form of multiplicity and variation. This is very much like Mexicos version of the Chupacabra. It seems as though many different geographic areas have their own local monster who parents often use to scare children. And in some cases some adults are even believers. When I was a child I was afraid of the Cacoohey, but he lived inside closets.